Mathukumalli Vidyasagar earned his BS (1965), MS (1967) and PhD (1969) from Wisconsin, USA specializing in control theory, robotics, neural networks. He served as Director, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Vidyasagar is one of the world's leading experts in the area of control and system theory. His advanced texts Nonlinear Systems Analysis and Control System Synthesis are used at all the best academic institutions of the world. One of his major contributions is the so-called "stable factorization method" for analyzing the stability of linear distributed control systems (that is, systems described by partial, as opposed to ordinary, differential equations). This method is the key to the current advanced methods of designing control systems, and finds application in such diverse areas as flight mechanics and chemical process control. In addition, he has made fundamental contributions to all aspects of stability theory of both linear and nonlinear control systems. Since that time he has been engaged in research in robotics, neural networks, and quantitative artificial intelligence. He has published several papers in neural networks, in which he has completely resolved the problem of the location and stability of the equilibria of arbitrary neural networks, and applied the same to the design of improved neural networks for problems such as analog to digital conversion. In addition, he has shown that the long-standing problem of inferencing from a set of rules can be solved efficiently using a constraint-satisfaction neural network. This approach to inferencing is among the fastest available today. In the area of robotics, he has developed a new kinematic configuration for a direct-drive robot, which is statically balanced and hence requires less powerful motors than conventional designs. In the area of artificial intelligence, he has formulated the concept of the consistency of a knowledge base, and has evolved computational algorithms both for testing if a knowledge base is consistent, as well as for resolving inconsistencies.
Other Contributions: Since 2000, Dr Vidyasagar has been with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Dr Vidyasagar is one of seven Executive Vice Presidents, and directs the activities of the Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) whose charter is to develop new technologies in non-traditional (i.e., non-software) areas. In addition to overseeing the R&D activities of the ATC, Dr Vidyasagar also continues with his own personal research.
Awards and Honours: Vidyasagar is a recipient of Frederick Emmons Terman Award (1984), Best Paper Prize (1987) and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture (2005). He is a Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Indian National Academy of Engineering.